Posts Tagged ‘Medoc’

Good value in Bordeaux

Jenn and I tasted through several value recommendations from Phil and John at MacArthur Beverages. At the budget end you cannot go wrong with the 2016 Chateau Croix-Mouton, Bordeaux Superieur or 2015 Chateau Camino Salva, Haut-Medoc. The Croix-Mouton is fresh, somewhat herbaceous with a slightly juicy core of fruit. It has balance. The Camino Salva offers a touch more fruit and fat with a saline aspect that I like. You should drink both of these wines over the next few years.  The 2015 Les Brulieres de Beychevelle, Haut-Medoc is more expensive but finer with creamy blue fruit and a juicy spiced finish. There are no coarse edges in this bottle. Jenn remarked on her enjoyment several times.

2016 Chateau Croix-Mouton, Bordeaux Superieur – $17
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14%. Bright with an herbaceous edge and spine of acidity. There are fresh flavors of black and red fruit supported by ripe, herbaceous tannins in the form of modest structure. It needs half an hour to an hour of air before it shows best, offering a fresh, slightly juicy core of fruit and grip. ** Now – 2022.

2015 Chateau Tour St Bonnet, Medoc – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 13.5%. An herbaceous nose. This is a bright wine has bright fruit, bright acidity, and dry flavor through the solid aftertaste. There is some grip and mouthfeel from the slight structure. Lurking underneath are blue fruits and cassis. ** Now – 2022.

2015 Chateau Camino Salva, Haut-Medoc – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 13.5%. Black fruit, greenhouse, and vanilla are delivered with almost crisp acidity. With air this improves, offering modest density to the flavor of cassis. It shows a slightly saline and savory edge that I find attractive. The freshness coupled with modest structure and fat should make for a good drink over the next several years. **(*) Now – 2023

2015 Les Brulieres de Beychevelle, Haut-Medoc – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 13.5%. A fine nose. In the mouth are weighty, almost creamy flavors of blue fruit and cinnamon before the juicy, baking spiced finish. The cool fruit flavors are of blue and black berries, though it becomes more black with air. A finely flavored wine carried by watering acidity into the modestly grip at the end. Closely played right now, but will open up over the next year or two. *** Now – 2025.

Notes from the Dump Bin: Sometimes Old Wine is Simply Old

I have a deserved reputation for trying almost any wine.  I do not keep track of my success ratio but sometimes I find fun stuff such as the bizarrely decent 1971 Chateau Montgrand-Milon, Pauillac.  Who knew that the second wine of a Crus Bourgeois Superieur would still be solid?  Those $10 bottles were worth every cent.  Earlier this year I grabbed a trio of wines priced in the $3 to $10 range.  I had hoped that the 1981 Cellier des Dauphins, Cotes du Rhone was stabilized in some form rendering it immune to age.  It was not.  At least the bottle shape is different. The 1983 Chateau La Cardonne, Medoc would be better if the fruit did not exist solely in the finish.  Lovers of blood and iron will rate this wine higher.  For me, half a glass was fine. Most disappointing is the 1997 Delas Freres, Les Calcerniers, Chateauneuf du Pape.  Wine Spectator gave this bottle 80 points upon release.  I think it has lost one point for every year of age.  If you see these wines then stay away!  These wines were taken from the dump bin at MacArthur Beverages.


1981 Cellier des Dauphins, Cotes du Rhone
Imported by Cellier des Dauphins.  Alcohol 12.5%.  Should have been drunk 34 years ago.  Past.

1983 Chateau La Cardonne, Medoc
Imported by Chateau & Estate.  Alcohol 11%-12%.  The color is quite advanced and would be alarming if this bottle did not cost just a few Dollars.  The flavors are a bit better with slightly dense and rounded blood and iron start.  There is watering acidity that keeps things going.  The wine is best in the finish with some grippy red fruit, more blood but then there is an aftertaste of roast earth.  * Past.

1997 Delas Freres, Les Calcerniers, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Maisons Marques and Domaines.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose of roast earth does not bode well.  In the mouth the wine is balanced in feel and in no way in poor condition.  However, the wine tasted old with the fruit all gone and the flavors are lean. There is still a good body and mouthfeel. Poor. Past.


Inexpensive Bordeaux from 2009 and 2010

November 2, 2015 Leave a comment

We recently tasted through four affordable Bordeaux from the 2009 and 2010 vintages priced between $15 and $25.  The wines were selected at random and unfortunately, did not prove to be the most interesting selection. At $15 the 2010 Chateau Mayne-Vieil, Fronsac represents a solid value. For an increase in price to $25 you may buy the 2009 Chateau Capbern Gasqueton, Saint-Estephe which offers more future potential.  I would cellar this for another year or two then pop and pour!  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Chateau Ducluzeau, Listrac-Medoc – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose had powdery aromas of greenhouse, fruit, and licorice.  The flavors began with a rounded start before developing very finely articulated black fruit with pencil lead in the finish.  The cool nature of the wine matched the watering acidity and the linear, focused progression of black fruit.  With air the wine and structure became firmer, leaving an unbalanced impression.  ** Now.


2009 Chateau Capbern Gasqueton, Saint-Estephe – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc sourced from vines averaging 35 years of age.  It was aged in one-third new oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was balanced with aromas of red-black fruit, green stemminess, and some earth.  The flavors followed in the mouth where they became less earthy and more fresh.  The wine had some weight and texture with a hint of greenhouse.  I found the wine more interesting at first for with air it cleaned up.  In the end, this balanced wine took on a vintage perfume note to go with the hint of black fruit.  **(*) Now – 2023.


2010 Chateau Mayne-Vieil, Fronsac – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is 100% Merlot. Alcohol 14.5%.  The cherry flavors were fruit forward yet still vibrant at first.  This showed interesting fruit, black minerals, and grip.  Solid wine for the price.  ** Now – 2018.


2010 Chateau Roc Taillade, Medoc – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This wine showed a bit more structure and density with a better integration of the greenhouse flavors.  With air it showed simpler red fruit flavors, watering acidity, grippy structure, and a firm black flavored finish.  ** Now – 2020.

My First Look at 2010 Bordeaux

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Jenn and I tasted the three Bordeaux featured in this post over the course of three nights.  The 2010 Chateau Tour St. Bonnet remained firm over the period so I suspect it really is a wine that will benefit from short-term cellaring.  The 2010 Chateau du Moulin Rouge was a bit more expressive showing an interesting saline and graphite touch.  The flavors come off lighter despite the strong structure.  My favorite of the trio was the 2010 Chateau Malescasse.  It showed a pleasing balance of fruit, weight, structure, and influence from wood.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Chateau Tour St. Bonnet, Medoc – $18
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot sourced from vines averaging 35 years of age.  Alcohol 14%.  There was red fruit in the mouth with a firm underpinning of very fine tannins.  With air it took on a stone-like firmness.  It remained tight but was more expansive in the finish where an almost inky note came out.  ** 2015-2020.


2010 Chateau du Moulin Rouge, Haut-Medoc – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc sourced from vines averaging 35 years of age which was aged for 12 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a quite-dark black cherry.  There was red fruit with a little greenhouse note and acidity on the back sides of the tongue.  This was lighter in body and lighter in the middle with watery acidity.  It was a touch saline with powdery lipstick flavors, and a firmer structure.  There were graphite notes in the finish.  With air it developed flavors of hard raspberry candy.  This has the strength to develop.  **(*) 2015-2024.


2010 Chateau Malescasse, Haut-Medoc – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc which was aged for 16 months in 30% new oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was very subtle eventually revealing leather and black fruit.  In the mouth were slightly dense, black and red fruit.  There was a slightly cool aspect.  There was some perfume, acidity, and tannins in the finish followed by a hint of leather and a little earth.  With air the structure nicely came out along with some viscous weight and a hint of green house.  **(*) Now-2024?


I Join Phil for Bottles of 2000 Bordeaux

October 26, 2012 1 comment

I recently joined Phil and his tasting group for one of their periodic tastings. The theme was kept secret by Phil though he admitted there was a ringer. After we tasted through the wines people began to offer their guesses as to what we were tasting. I believe a consensus of Bordeaux or Bodeaux-blend was quickly achieved. Our attempts to narrow it down further resulted in a slew of vintages and other guesses. The ringer, however, was singled our for being something else. I was personally surprised and pleased to find out we had been drinking the 2000 vintage! As we were about to tuck into gigantic lamb-shanks with a white-bean puree Phil opened the Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot. Except for the Billecart-Salmon and Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot all of the wines were double-decanted one hour before tasting. The majority of the wines came from Phil’s wine cellar. The other wines, those with prices, were recently purchased from MacArthur Beverages. My notes are presented in the order the wines were tasted.

There were some fine wines this evening. The Billecart-Salmon was a great way to start the evening and was consumed as everyone settled down for the tasting. My favorite wine was the Chateau Giscours for its charisma and confidence. It is balanced and perfectly drinkable but will develop for some time. I suspect many others enjoyed this bottle as it kept “disappearing.” I rather liked the Chateau Monbousquet as well. It showed young with firmer flavors and structure in the finish. The Chateau La Louviere was quite nice as well and kept developing over the two hours I was there. If you try it now give it three hours of air before drinking. The Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot had primary fruit which was quite drinkable. My tasting note was taken within the first hour of being open so bear that in mind.

The Chateau Reignac was a good wine which continued to develop over the evening, perhaps a solid wine. I am curious to hear how this fared over the rest of the evening. The Chateau Potensac was awkward, at first giving the impression that it will develop with age then shutting down upon revisit. The Chateau Haut-Bergey was at its peak during my first glass so perhaps this is best to drink over the next several years. The Pine Ridge stood out when first tasted. Upon revisiting the wine I drank it while eating my lamb and it was completely satisfying. (In retrospect this is too strong of a statement. I meant that drunk with food it was not distracting.)

Many thanks to Phil for inviting me over to his house, as well as to the rest of the group who, for the second time, made me feel welcome.

NV Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose, Champagne
This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir vinified as a red wine. Alcohol 12%. This bottle had been in Phil’s cellar for 2-3 years. The color was a light, clear salmon rose. The light nose was yeasty and of delicate red fruit. In the mouth the flavors were very light with initial fruit then yeasty apple which mixed with dry, red fruit flavors. It became a bit grippy and racy in the finish. There was good acidity and a textured aftertaste with an earthy note. The bubbles were delicate and integrated. Very harmonious from age and quite satisfying to drink. **** Now.

2000 Chateau Potensac, Medoc – $50
Imported by Vignobles LVDH. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented 15-18 days then aged 12-16 months in 10-15% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was medium garnet, showing some age. The medium nose was aromatic with a little green house note. In the mouth there were tight black fruit, wooden structure then a touch of red fruit. It was a little rough in the middle with a drying finish and fine tannins in the aftertaste. It could still use more than an hour of air. Upon revisiting it seemed tighter with a developing wood note. **(*) 2016-2022.

2000 Chateau Reignac, Bordeaux Superieur
Imported by W.J. Deutsch & Sons. This wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon which was fermented in both stainless steel and oak tanks. It underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for 12 months new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color of medium garnet was lighter than the Potensac. The medium strength nose showed some roasted earth. In the mouth the dryer red fruit was supported by structure. The flavors become more tart in the middle where slightly riper, spicy tannins came up. The wine caused one to pucker a bit in the finish. Upon revisiting the nose was more aromatic and the flavors were expanding. *** Now-2022.

2000 Pine Ridge, Onyx, Napa Valley
This wine is a blend of 60% Malbec, 24% Tannat, and 16% Merlot which was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels.. Alcohol 14.1%. The color was light to medium garnet with a dark cherry core. The nose was light with sweet notes and butter. In the mouth there was cherry red fruit, which was tart and showed some focus. The flavors became overripe towards the finish as a little mineral and blue fruit flavors came out. There were a light amount of fine tannins. Upon revisiting there was still some sweet fruit. I do not see this developing further but then I suspect it will drink fine for some time. ** Now-2018.

2000 Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan – $70
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel then aged 16-18 months in 50% new oak barrels. The color was a medium cherry garnet with a dark core. The light to medium strength nose was concentrated with dark aromas and a little eucalyptus. In the mouth there was tart fruit at first which expanded quickly then thinned out in the finish. There was a gentle vein of black fruit and minerals throughout. The flavors turned tart in the finish. There were still wood tannins. Upon revisiting there were more red and blue fruit but I preferred my first glass. *** Now-2020.

2000 Chateau La Louviere, Pessac-Leognan
Imported by USA Wine Import. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot sourced from 20-year-old vines. It was fermented 21 days in stainless steel vats then aged for 12 months in 50-75% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was a medium+ dark cherry garnet. The young nose revealed focused fruit and eucalyptus. This wine was youthful in the mouth with lift from the acidity and a fine tannic structure. The youngest thus far it left appealing dry, sticky tannins on the lips. Upon revisiting it revealed more concentrated fruit which was youthful. Good potential here. ***(*) Now-2025.

2000 Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint-Julien
Imported by A.H.D. Vintners. The second wine of Leoville Pyferre this is a bled of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 20-year-old vines. Alcohol 13%. The color was light to medium. The nose was a little earthy. The flavors were of bright red fruit, a little wood note, and a general feeling of being old. Upon revisiting the red fruit showing citrus-backing with some juicy acidity. This is drinking at its best right now. ** Now.

2000 Chateau Giscours, Margaux – $100
Imported by The Stacole Co. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc sourced from 30-year-old vines. It was fermented 15-20 days in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 33% new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The medium strength nose revealed good concentration of fruit and a cedar note. In the mouth the flavors had fine concentration, good blue fruit, along with acidity and tannins that were perfectly balanced. Still youthful. Immediately charming. Upon revisiting the nose took on sweaty leather and the mouth showed more spices. A lovely bottle starting to hit its stride. **** Now-2027.

2000 Chateau Monbousquet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – $60
Imported by Bacchus Importers. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 40-year-old vines. It underwent fermentation for 28-35 days in stainless steel tanks then was aged for 18-22 months in new oak barrels. Alcohol 13.5%. The color was a medium+ roasted and garnet with a dark core. The fine nose was scented with cedar. In the mouth this fine wine had gentle, sweetly spiced fruit then filled the mouth with black fruit. It firmed up a bit in the finish where the flavors were drier. There were drying ripe tannins which were a little spicy. Upon revisiting the good nose revealed ripe fruit. There continued to be nice fruit in the mouth which left the impression of many years of developing ahead. Almost at the level of the Giscours. **** Now-2027.

2000 Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Imported by Glazer’s. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 35-year-old vines. It was fermented 28-30 days in stainless steel tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for 18 months in new oak barrels. Alcohol 13%. The color was medium+. In the mouth there was finely texture blue fruit that morphed into primary black and red fruit. There was a gentle texture, cool spiced fruit, and a little bit of spicy tannins. A very drinkable, young wine that needs some age. ***(*) Now-2022.

1999 California, Washington, and Bordeaux wine dinner

February 5, 2009 1 comment

Our usual group gathered this past weekend for a tasting of 1999 wines from California, Bordeaux, and Washington. It was hosted at Lou and Adrienne’s house. They were joined by Dave, Deniz, Todd, Marissa, Adam, Jenn, and myself.

We started off with the 2002 Argyle Brut then moved on to the 2006 Peay Chardonnay before working our way through the red wines.

All wines were tasted blind. They were also decanted for sediment at 4:30pm. Lou threw in the 2000 Merlust Merlot ringer, purchased for 117 Rand. At the time he didn’t reveal anything about the ringer. The Canon La Gaffeliere was a group favorite followed by the Meerlust. The Meerlust is a best buy.

Here are the groups rankings:
Wine #1 – 35 points – 1999 Ch. Canon La Gaffeliere
Wine #2 – 27 points – 2000 Meerlust Merlot
Wine #3 – 19 points – 1999 Andrew Will, Sorella
Wine #4 – 14 points – 1999 Ch. Gracia
Wine #5 – 12 points – 1999 Ridge, Monte Bello

These three tight for 6th with 8 points each:
Wine #6 – 1999 Andrew Will, Merlot, Ciel du Cheval
Wine #6 – 1999 Ch. Pontet Canet
Wine #6 – 1999 Ch. La Tour Haut Brion

2002 Argyle, Brut
Apples on the nose with mild fizz that feels like a slightly older bottle. Yeasty with medium length and perhaps a touch of cinnamon.

2006 Peay, Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
Very light straw color and cloudy. A light nose of crisp, lemon zest and citrus. Slightly creamy in the mouth with some minerals. A nice wine that some found slightly detracting by some warmth and overtly toasted oak in the finish.

Flight #1
1 – 1999 Ch. Pavie-Macquin, St. Emillion
The nose on this wine disappeared rapidly leaving the fruit behind and impressions of oak, cedar, and some soy sauce. In the mouth there were lean blue/red fruits that got leaner towards the finish where a moderate amount of stout tannins took hold.

2 – 1999 Andrew Will, Merlot, Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley
There was initially some sulphur that blew off to reveal a strong nose of old-world smells: stink, barnyard, and some smokiness. In the mouth there were roundish red fruits that were underripe and overpowered by the tart acidity.

3 – 1999 Ch. Pontet Canet, Pauillac
A medium nose of high-toned, lifted smoke and tobacco. In the mouth the palate really follows the nose with cool blue fruits developing/expanding in the middle. Powerful, fine+ tannins come across in the finish. Almost austere compared to the Meerlust.

4 – 2000 Meerlust, Merlot, Stellenbosch
A muted nose compared to the first three. In the mouth ripe red berries, dark olives, make way to very fine tannins that coat the front of the mouth. There is a fair amount of power and the tannins are quite nice. It gave the impression of needing more time but in the glass it faded with time and became more vegetal compared to the Canon La Gaffeliere.

Flight #2
5 – 1999 La Sirena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Volatile acidity on the nose followed by red cranberries. In the mouth there are soft red-liquor and raspberry flavors that make way to a weak somewhat stinky finish. Eh.

6 – 1999 Ch. La Tour Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan
Very light nose. There are cool blue fruits, cassis, pencil lead, and tobacco with a thread of minerals the last through the finish. A strong wine that some found hard to drink. When revisited the core of dark blue fruit was still growing but stayed simple in flavor, not getting more complex.

7 – 1999 Ridge Montebello
Chunky red/blue fruit on the nose. Big in the mouth with nice fruit, leaving impressions of power and reminding you with the assertive tannins. I preferred this over #6. When revisisted I found aromas of lipstick and flavors of dusty, herbs, and green fruit. A decent wine that probably will not get better.

8 – 1999 Cornerstone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
A strong almost singular nose of green pepper with some black pepper spiciness. This immediately turned off half of the group. In the mouth, good weight, not heavy but powerful green pepper flavors supported by watering acidity, and some sweetness/liquorice in the finish. Eh.

Flight #3
9 – 1999 Ch. Gracia, St. Emilion
A light+ earthy nose with good aromatics right away. Some found brett and cooked meat. Good weight to the fruit but there was some heat mixed in with the moderate tannins and toast. Revisited later it became more out of balance and developed a very light nose of candied popcorn.

10 – 1999 Andrew Will, Sorella
Red cherries on the nose with some finding too much green. In the mouth more red fruits with citrus like acidity, high-toned, sweet blue fruit with some dustiness. There was a good amount of fruit to this wine that some liked and other thought this was a liquid vegetable cart. Revisisted later it was fading and didn’t last long.

11 – 1999 Ch. Canon La Gaffeliere, St. Emilion
A light, delicate nose with chocolate, meat, and coffee. Lovely in the mouth with cool blue fruits in a undoubtedly rich and full bodied package, that develop into a dark fruit aftertase. Revisited later the wine was still developing with grainy fruit, darker flavors, and some spice coming out. Well done, some thought this must be the ringer and a 2000 Bordeaux.

12 – 1999 Behrens & Hitchcock, Cuvee Lola
Very severe volatile acidity with cherry flavors. Some, like myself, decided to try it and immediately launched it into the spitton. Synthetic cork I believe.

Flight #4 – Let’s drink some more!
1999 Clos du Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape
Focused fresh, bright red berries but not to the purity of Charvin. More red berries in the mouth, this wine is slow to develop and puts on weight with air. Definitely stands out compared to the previous 12 wines. Nice, give it more time or more air.

1982 Ch. Potensac, Medoc
A medium nose of sweaty cedar and some sweetness. A bit sour in the mouth, slightly fading fruit, but the core flavors are there. There are still some unresolved tannins. Better than the 1982 Rouget and in no state of dropping off the cliff but it is best to drink up.


A Wide Variety from Saturday and Sunday, 28 July 2008

The Kilikanoon was good but it is a powerful wine to be drunk in small sips. The Charles Smith Boom Boom was well done in the bright red fruit vein. The Mourre du Tendre was some funky stuff that I only drank two glasses of. The Attems Pinot Grigio was a nice surprise. And the two pinots were much appreciated during the humid Sunday evening.

2004 Kilikanoon, The Prodigal, Grenache, Clare Valley – $26
This grenache was aged for 24 months in older American and French oak hogsheads. A medium opaque ruby with some garnet. A light to medium nose of sweet red fruit. Concentrated fruit flavors assault with red fruit up front then dark berries develop in a supporting role. Mild acidity through with a mild finish and minimal tannins. I think this full-bodied wine needs more age before it can unleash all.

2006 Charles Smith, Boom Boom, Syrah – $22
From K Vintners. A good nose of light, bright dusty northwest red fruit. In the mouth, red fruit, raspberries, and acidity abound. Minimal, very fine, young tannins. There is a light, fresh, and slightly juicy finish. Drink now or within a year or so. It drank almost exactly the same the next night.

2001 Mourre du Tendre, Cuvee Tradition, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $22
Upon decanting Jenn found an intense nose of white grapefruit. To me it was more cat pee on clay litter. After 24 hours grapefruit/pee bit disappeared and was replaced by sweet red raspberry candy/liquor. The flavors follow the nose with slightly chewy red berries in this medium bodied wine. This is some funky stuff that won’t appeal to most.

These two ’95s have been lurking in my basement for some reason. I had some hope for the Puygueraud but….

1995 Chateau La Boscq, Vieilles Vignes, Medoc
Some stinky cheese at first then a light claret and cedar nose. There are bright red berries, lean fruit, and a cinnamon flavor that develops with air. This light to medium bodied show its acidity in the finish then is followed by a simple aftertaste. Drink up. It is drinkable but completely boring.

1995 Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs
A light color of heavily bricked garnet. A light nose of mostly volatile acidity.
Thin fruit, towards acidic and a little sour. A cool, menthol finish with very fine tannins in aftertaste. Gets worse with air. Not worth drinking.

A few good wines from dinner at a friends’ house. No notes, just what Jenn and I remember.

2007 Attems, Pinot Grigio, Collio – $17
I thought this was an excellent Pinot Grigio. Round and somewhat creamy fruit, lively and refreshing.

2002 Fromm, Clayvin Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Marlborough
The first bottle was corked but the second one delivered the goods right away. Good nose of dark blue fruits that is beginning to develop some complexity. This medium bodied wine has blue fruit in the mouth, some oak, and leaves the impression of restraint. While it drank well now I’d cellar it a few more years to see what develops. We preferred this over the Dierberg…not to imply that the Dierberg wasn’t good.

2005 Dierberg, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
Aged 16 months in 90% new French oak. Dark red berries on the nose. Dark blue and red fruit flavors that are concentrated with good acidity. I’d cellar this for a few years before drinking. The oak is not overdone.